When the time capsule at the Marco Island Center for the Arts is sealed, it will carry inside it the manifestation of the hopes and dreams of all who contributed — sending that message 50 years into the future.

The capsule, made to be part of an approximate three-fourths replica of the Friendship 7 capsule that carried the late astronaut John Glenn through three orbits around Earth in 1962, is aptly dubbed the Space/Time Capsule. The larger project, collectively called the “Space/Time Capsule: Community Stories That Launch Into the Future,” will collect not only physical submissions but digital, too, in the form of short videos from participants.

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The Center’s Executive Director, Hyla Crane, said the time capsule is meant to be as inclusive as possible.

“We’re going to leave a legacy,” Crane said. “I want everybody who wants to be a part of this project to have the opportunity.”

The capsule is just one way the Center has celebrated its 50th anniversary: The Center also hosted its Golden Gala in February, where the capsule made its public debut.

The Center’s Board President, Jim Richards, was the mind behind using a space capsule as a time capsule. Richards said he reached back 50 years and grabbed something that was well-known and recognizable to him. Not only did the idea come from Richards, but he underwrote the project with his wife, Allyson.

“I like being part of Marco’s history,” he said. “I just get a big charge out of having fun with life and helping folks have fun with me.”

The capsule was made in a Philadelphia suburb by Bosio Metal Specialties, Inc., and the paintwork is custom from Tricked Out Custom Cycles and Wile E Designs. The steel spaceship replica weighs in at more than 500 pounds and will serve as the vessel for the physical time capsule.

The Center also collaborated with Brad Larson, the president of StoryHabitat. StoryHabitat is a Massachusetts-based video-gathering resources for institutions, and the collaboration will allow those who would like to make a digital contribution to respond to a prompt via video recording, which will be kept as part of the Center’s digital collection and kept as part of the submissions for the Space/Time Capsule.

While a physical kiosk is planned for when the center reopens, COVID-19 meant Crane and her staff had to shift the methodology behind the initial video submissions, creating an online portal for participants to submit their own videos on how the arts community — and beyond — has sustained the unusual times we live in.

“We are celebrating 50 years this year. We did not expect it to be so eventful in the way that it has become,” Crane said. “Fifty years for a small, not-for-profit arts organization, in of itself, is an accomplishment.”

At its heart, the capsule is an art installation.

“Curiosity will, hopefully, pull them into the parking lot,” Richards said. “Who knows? It might even inspire somebody else to do something different.”

Crane expects the time capsule will be sealed in early 2021, and there is talk of placing a covering above the capsule to protect the stainless-steel installation from getting so hot in the sun. She's aiming for "7,500 voices" involved in the project by the end of it.

Crane noted that, in 50 years, it would be fascinating to open the time capsule and see reference to this time of COVID-19 because of the potential for medical and technological advancements. The capsule is, she said, symbolic because it speaks to people’s subconscious thoughts of launching forward into what is truly unknown.

“And the future is that, isn’t it?”  Crane said.

For more information on how to submit a video or item, visit

Andrew Atkins is a Naples Daily News features reporter. Contact him via email at To support work like Andrew's, please consider subscribing:

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